Tarsal Tunnel Trouble

The tarsal tunnel is a groove that appears between part of your ankle bone and a group of tendons and ligaments that span across the top of your foot. This tunnel carries the nerves, tendons, and arteries that, in conjunction with your brain, allow your foot to move.

What is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?

One of the major nerves inside the tarsal tunnel is the tibial nerve, which is the main conduit for providing feeling to the bottom of your foot. This nerve can become stressed and irritated due to excess pressure and stress, causing the condition known as tarsal tunnel syndrome (TTS).


Injuries and diseases that may cause this excess pressure include:

  • Fallen arches or flat feet
  • Inflammation from an ankle injury
  • Diabetes and arthritis
  • Varicose veins or bone spurs


A few of the symptoms of TTS consist of:

  • Numbness
  • Burning and tingling
  • Stabbing pain


A diagnosis of tarsal tunnel syndrome can be a complicated matter and it is important to consult with a medical professional, such as a podiatrist, to devise the best treatment plan. Your foot doctor will perform a complete clinical exam followed by imaging studies (X-ray, CT or MRI), and electrical testing such as EMG or nerve conduction evaluation may be performed or prescribed to help confirm the diagnosis and devise the best treatment plan.


Non-surgical treatment options include:

  • Steroid injections
  • Ibuprofen for pain and inflammation
  • Splints, other types of braces, and orthotic inserts to decrease some of the pressure on the nerve


In severe cases, TTS may not respond well to conservative treatments and will require the intervention of a skilled surgeon to release the pressure on the nerve.


The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (929-336-4523).